MORE than 60 runners took part in a charity challenge in Redditch to complete eight-and-a-half 5K courses in one day – the equivalent of a marathon.
And the tenacious participants from the Arrow Valley parkrun have managed to raise £2,500 so far for the Charlotte and Craig Saving Hearts Foundation.
Two schools have been identified where there are children with heart conditions and the rest will be put towards two other parkrun groups to help them get their own defibrillators.
Among the nine courses undertaken were Wyre Forest, Hanbury, Worcester, Tewkesbury, Cheltenham, Evesham, Stratford, Bromsgrove (the junior parkrun) and Arrow Valley.
Kevin Parsons and Rachel Gould planned the event and there was lots of rain on the day, but also lots of fun.
The team received a lot of support throughout the day making the fund-raising efforts well worthwhile.
Rachel told The Standard there was an early coach ride to the first course at 7.30am and then the runners completed each run before travelling to the next course.
“The day was very tiring, but the welcome back into Arrow Valley parkrun for the last run at 7.30pm was emotional and a moment that will live with the team.”
Rob Underwood from the Charlotte and Craig Saving Hearts Foundation gave an emotional speech at Arrow Valley at the end of the runs.
He and wife Maggie have helped out at all of the Arrow Valley parkrun events to support the fund-raising this year. They also gifted a defibrillator to the group earlier this year
Rob said: “I think they did amazingly well, if I was to do that, I would probably just about make the first one.
“What I love about them is not only have they being getting fit and looking after themselves, they are also looking after others through their charity fund-raising.
“We cannot thank them enough.”
He added the defibrillators in the schools would offer protection to the children who had heart conditions and give those and others the best chance of survival when they needed it.
Rob and Maggie Underwood started the charity after they tragically lost two children, Charlotte and Craig, to Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).
“If these defibrillators prevent even one family going through what we did it will be worth it,” he added.
Anyone wanting to donate to the cause can do so by texting 70070 AVPR81 £amount or online via https://localgiving.org/arrowvalleyparkrun8parkruns
Visit www.ccshf.org.uk for more on the Charlotte and Craig Saving Hearts Foundation, where all the cash is going.
The final amount raised will be announced at Arrow Valley parkrun on October 1. The parkrun is a free 5k at 9am each week at Arrow Valley lake. Visit www.parkrun.org.uk/arrowvalley for more information.